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Dates set for 'make-up' poll in South, EC member says

The Election Commission may hold "make-up ballots" for nine southern provinces on April 5 and 27, EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said yesterday.

Somchai, who is in charge of organising such elections, posted on his Facebook wall that the tentative schedule was agreed upon during a meeting he held in Songkhla province yesterday with the governors of 14 southern provinces and representatives of coalition partners, as well as representatives of government agencies.

He said their agreement on the election dates would have to be approved by the full EC during a meeting on Tuesday.

Yesterday's meeting agreed to hold elections in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat to make up for the previous polling failure in certain constituencies on February 2.

As well, "make-up" balloting for both the advance vote on January 26 and the general election on February 2 will be held in Chumphon, Satun, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Ranong and Phang Nga provinces on April 27, according to Somchai's post.

The meeting agreed that the election for 28 constituencies of eight provinces where candidacy registrations were blocked by protesters could not be held for now but the EC would have to wait for a ruling by the Constitutional Court on that issue.

Somchai said the provincial governors and all government agencies concerned guaranteed that they would be ready to help the holding of these ballots.

The meeting also agreed that it would be inappropriate to hold "make-up" elections on the same day as the half-Senate poll on March 30.

During the meeting, Chumphon Governor Phirasak Hinmuangkao criticised the EC for failing to hold the elections.


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